With all the cheer and excitement the holidays bring, there’s also a bit of madness. As soon as the Turkey leftovers hit the fridge, we make that mad dash to a department store or online outlet for the promise of a Black Friday deal. Meanwhile, freshly cut trees and lights adorn the streets as if Thanksgiving was a thing of the distant past. Soon it settles in that we must attack that gift list with a vengeance like a pouncing tiger before all the L.O.L. dolls or iPhone 7s are sold out!

But in all this, we can forget to give. Giving to kids, family, and friends you’ll spend time with is a no-brainer. You can’t just show up empty handed! What about those we don’t see? What about those programs that exist, not for profit, but for the community? Here at UB, we’re all for kid-friendly fun. But there’s also a lot of nonprofits that offer a unique way of introducing hard work with fun, and there are plenty located uptown. These organizations use donations to help change the lives of our future Uptowners. So now that we’re over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consider making a donation, however small, to these nonprofits on #givingtuesday.

Clicking on an organization’s Name will take you directly to their donation page:


Harlem Girls Cheer
Donate here.

This Harlem-based organization is developing youth through academics, competitive cheerleading and character building activities. It was launched in 2016 by six Harlem-based professionals, dedicated to uplifting and inspiring youth girls. Join the Harlem Girls Cheer family – THE HARLEM ROAR and help build the next generation of girls who will unapologetically rule the world. Read more about the launch of Harlem Girls Cheer, Inc. in the press release, here



Uptown Stories
Donate here.

Uptown Stories inspires kids to discover and develop their inner voices in a diverse community of writers. Based in upper Manhattan, they offer small-group writing workshops for children ages eight to fifteen, led by master teachers and professional authors. To ensure workshops are accessible to all children, tuition is pay-what-you-can. Uptown Stories creates an exciting, challenging, and supportive community in which young authors thrive. Workshops include POW! Comics, Mythical creatures, screenplay writing, and more. Work is read out loud for friends and family at the conclusion of each semester and published in an actual book, which each child gets a free copy of.


World of Money

Donate here.

The World of Money is a New York City based non-profit organization whose mission is to teach financial education to youth. Providing a professional, upbeat and educational environment of up to 40 classroom hours. Aside from their community service piece, the curriculum also entails business communication, body language, business etiquette, history and flow of money, financial institutions, contracts, savings, check balancing, bank fees, and more. All taught by dedicated Wall Street professionals. The young moguls also take trips annually; this year to Italy.


Figure Skating in Harlem
Donate here.

Enough can not be said about this program! It is very personal for us at UB, as two of our children have been with this program for years. We wrote all about this phenomenal organization here. Between the financial literacy, STEM Education, and the laser focus on the ice, our girls have truly enjoyed and worked hard for, the accomplishments that come along with being a figure skater. 



People’s Theatre Project
Donate here.
People’s Theatre Project offers schools and youth-serving organizations a robust package of arts and social justice programming. Theatre for Social Justice curricula immerses K-12 youth in integrated arts programming that explores issues of social injustice affecting their local and global communities. FREE  programming includes Saturday theatre offered in fall and spring semesters. Participants engage in theatre games and activities, learn performance skills and work collaboratively to create an original theatre piece addressing a social theme of their choice.

We hope that you find it in your heart to give this #GivingTuesday. Getting the kids involved is also wise. It builds on their morale and character. Children that learn to give are less self-centered and learn to be much more compassionate.

Michelle Caines
Author: Michelle Caines

Co-creator of Uptown Birdies, Michelle is a Harlem-born mother of three with a passion for anything educational and mindfulness. She enjoys hunting down affordable kid-friendly events within upper Manhattan and teaching mindfulness. Social handle: @mscaines & @tlbmindfulness